Mass Spectrometry Analysis: Prime Platform for Expedited Bioanalysis
Mass spectrometry analysis has become an integral part of all phases of drug R&D over the last decade. It has undoubtedly accelerated the intricate, consuming, and intensive drug discovery and development process at each phase and continues to contribute invaluable insight for driving drug innovation in the right direction.Typical mass spectrometry data analysis platform for drug or biomarker testing consists of the following –
Here, the analyte is ionized utilizing any of the various technologies. Put differently, Ion source in the mass spectrometer is responsible for applying a charge to the analyte. Consequentially, every analyte that passes through this stage has a specific mass-to-charge ratio.
Next, the mass analyzer assesses the mass-to-charge values for the ions and sorts them on the basis on these values. The fundamental principles of particle physics are harnessed for the analysis – positive ions move in the direction of the negative plates at varying speeds. Heavier the molecules, lower the velocity. Furthermore, the magnetic field is used to deflect the ions at varying velocity depending upon the mass of ions.
Finally, the function of the mass detector is to count the molecules passing through the sensor with different mass-to-charge values and obtain a computerized mass spectrum.
The entire system is controlled by software that enables operating all units together, as well as acquiring and interpreting data for the final output, i.e., report on quantitative analysis of the drug.
Mass Spectrometry Analysis: Hyphenated Techniques and Other Practices
By itself, the mass spectrometry analysis is a highly sensitive detector that becomes even more powerful when coupled with other front-end technologies, such liquid chromatography (LC), gas chromatography (GC), supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC), capillary electrophoresis (CE), inductively coupled plasma (ICP), etc. These days mass spectrometer coupled with liquid chromatography provides a tool not only for pharmacokinetic studies studies but also proteomics, metabolomics, and genomics research.
For small molecules analysis in biological fluids, Multiple Reaction Monitoring is used to obtain highly selective detection. In multiple reactions monitoring (MRM), a parent ion is monitored in Q1 and its unique fragment ion in Q3. In some cases, it may even be necessary to modify the analyte chemically for improving the mass spectrometry analysis assay. This technique is known as chemical derivatization and is used for enhancing the selectivity and sensitivity of the analyte in mass spectrometry analysis.